Following the supposed suspension of the National President, Comrade Simon Anchaver, the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees (NUAAE), has ended in chaos.
The NEC Convention, convened by Anchaver between Friday and Saturday, became factionalised on Saturday, when the deputy national president, Comrade A. Kisoro-led faction allegedly suspended the national president over allegations of “tenure elongation.”
While briefing the newsmen at NUAAE in Abuja, Comrade Kisoro noted that he was the one who presided over the NEC meeting in the absence of the President based on the power bestowed on him by the constitution.
In his words: “You can see what happened, in the morning we had our own Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting and during that meeting we made submission which was supposed to be presented at the NEC and when we came out the President, Comrade Anchaver said we are having the NEC meeting today by 12pm but to my surprised I met some of my colleagues outside who told me that they have conducted the NEC meeting without our participation and that majority of the chairmen who formed the NEC members were outside.
“Majority of the chairmen gathered and advised me to conduct the NEC meeting because Comrade Anchaver just left the office premise with his few teams without telling anybody where he was going to and the Union constitution permits me to act as the president.”
According to Comrade Kisoro, it was Anchaver who called for the NEC meeting that had participants from all the States, “but he just left for his personal reasons without informing us that was why I presided over the meeting.”
“The suspension of the President by the NEC remains valid as we are having the majority members present at the meeting. Although, our tenure will be ending by January 16th, 2024 but Anchaver does not want to leave the power as he wants a tenure elongation which is not acceptable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Comrade Anchaver in his reaction said, “Those who suspended me are not financial members of this organisation about six months ago, they were suspended.”
He added: “They do not have the locus standi to suspend me as president, because two third majority will sign and the president must preside over that meeting for whatsoever decision taken at the NEC must be deliberated at the CWC and this issue did not come up in my NEC so it’s null and void.
“This is purely propaganda, maybe Comrade Kiroso wants to be president but he is not qualified, and this is not a union of pensioners. I am still the president, that is the assurance I am giving you.”
Comrade Anchaver then expressed dismay over his deputy’s action saying, “Unfortunately, It was my deputy president, Kiroso who participated in the NEC and CWC meeting.
“I was surprised that Kisoro chaired a factional meeting. Constitutionally, the man is a retiree who retired last year in October, so he is not supposed to chair any meeting. It is illegal. Anybody can take the meeting he chaired to court and the court will definitely nullify it. So, I am still the president.
“Those people parading themselves have just nine state Chairmen who attended their meeting. These are Chairmen who have not been remitting to the national headquarters. They are Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun and Zamfara. And this organisation has rules that once you are not a financial member you cannot decide on anything.
“They are not financial members of this organisation since six months ago, they were suspended. It is in our constitution that once you stop remitting check up dues for one month you cease to be a financial member and now that we will be holding our national delegate conference they cannot contest in any position.
“The constitution states that unless you are a financial member and contributing monthly before you can contest any position in the union.
“I was told they acted that way because I convened the NEC and that I decided to abandon the NEC. This is not true, I did not abandon the NEC, we held our meeting including the CWC and we took a resolution and the Deputy President was also part of this decision but to my dismay he went to chair a parallel NEC meeting,” he said.
Concerning the allegations of tenure elongation, Anchaver said, “My tenure is supposed to wind off on January 16th, 2024 and the Union constitution also says upon the expiration of the tenure, the National Executive Council (NEC) has the power to shift the National Delegate Conference (NDC) up to three months.
“Going by this I am supposed to vacate the office on April 16th, 2024 but I said, I am tired of that so let us shift it back to March 18th to 19th, 2024 for our national delegate conference.
“I want to also inform you that I am still a Director, Finance and Supplies, Agricultural Rural Development Authority, Benue state and will be retiring on the 30th June, 2024 from the civil service. Whatever happens I want this process to conclude before my retirement. All this is because they want to tarnish my reputation,” he said.
This was as he appealed to warring factions to embrace peace so that they can take the union to a greater height, saying, “I want to leave the union in a peaceful way so that I can be proud of my achievements.”